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Carlotta Johnson-McGowan

I am the Interim-Director and coordinate the efforts of the Academic Advising and Student Development unit within the African American Academic Network. I have worked at the University of Illinois at Chicago since January 1999. Prior to coming to the University of Illinois at Chicago, I have worked as a Career Development Instructor and Assistant Residence Hall Director. I am a graduate of Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois. I received my Bachelor of Psychology and Master of Education in Counseling and Student Development from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee Alabama.

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Juanita L. McCary

I am the Assistant to the Director for the African American Academic Network. Previously, I held the position of an Academic Counselor and advised the Parent Network Association. I also serve on a variety of campus committees. My prior professional experience includes Resource and Policy Analyst and Transfer Counselor for the Office of Admissions.
I have obtained a Master of Education in Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Alverno College.

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Joel W. Shinault

I have worked at UIC for the past four years, one in the AAAN Recruitment Unit and three in the Advisement Unit. I advise students within the College of I coordinated the Ujima Mentoring initiative for three years, connecting freshmen with upperclassmen and faculty/staff for supplemental advisement, and career guidance. Ujima activities regularly included luncheon discussions that have since evolved into a new program activity: Lunch and Learn. The purpose of Lunch and Learn is to introduce and engage ambitious underclassmen with graduate students, medical students, judges, lawyers and career professionals to discuss and clarify the process of achieving goals. I earned my Bachelors of Arts Degree in U.S. History/English from Northern Illinois University and Masters of Arts in African American History/Literature from Atlanta University.

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Paula Benton Pierce

My position as Manager of the Student Learning Resource Center is to hire, develop and supervise highly qualified peer tutors from the upperclassmen attending UIC. I assess and assign tutors to students based on each student's academic needs or challenges. I earned my Associate's in Electronic Engineering (Microprocessor Tech) from Harper College, B.A from Chicago State University and Master's from Concordia University in Educational Leadership. I have worked in and taught STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses for over 20 years in various institutions of higher education. My philosophy is that through effective teaching, learning becomes contagious. I sincerely believe that success within the STEM courses is intimately tied to the future of the American economy and productivity.

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Joseph Fields

I am the Associate Director and Recruitment Coordinator of the African American Academic Network. As the recruitment coordinator, my responsibilities include offering a full range of admissions-related services to individuals, organizations, and groups serving the African American community throughout (but not limited to) the Chicagoland area. Additionally, I serve as the advisor for the BRO (Brothers Reaching Out) student organization and I also lead the Black Male Initiative (BMI) for the department.  I enjoy guiding students through the application process and promoting college readiness. I regularly attend college fairs and conduct presentations centered around 'college life.' I am a proud graduate of Morehouse College and I have a Masters’ Degree from the University of Chicago.

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Chanel Small

I am an Academic Counselor in the Academic Advising Unit. I advise students from the College of Education, as well as students from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I coordinate the AAAN Woman 2 Woman initiative, which serves the purpose of providing  African American female students on campus with academic, social and personal development. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Master of Arts in Community Counseling and Human Services from Roosevelt University. I am in the process of obtaining a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from DePaul University. It is my goal to assure that the African American students on the campus of UIC, not only successfully matriculate to graduation, but have an enjoyable and memorable college experience in the process.

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Alex Sainvilier

I am an Academic Counselor in the Academic Advising Unit. I advise students from the College of Engineering, Art and Architecture, and some Liberal Arts and Sciences. I am no stranger to UIC. I earned my bachelors degree from UIC in Psychology and I was very involved in various student organizations. I am well aware of what UIC has to offer its students in terms of learning opportunities, resources, and experiences. I am here to help you not just survive the college experience but to thrive and make it the best experience possible. Feel free to see me at the AAAN office or whenever you see me on campus!

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